We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been 1given among the churches of Macedonia,
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for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and 2their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
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For they gave 3according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,
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begging us earnestly 4for the favor of taking part in 5the relief of the saints--
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and this, not as we expected, but they 6gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
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Accordingly, 7we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you 8this act of grace.
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But as 9you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you--10see that you excel in this act of grace also.
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11I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.
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For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that 12though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
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And in this matter 13I give my judgment: 14this benefits you, who 15a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it.
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So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.
For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable 16according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
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For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness
your abundance at the present time should supply 17their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.
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As it is written, 18"Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack."
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But 19thanks be to God, 20who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you.
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For 21he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.
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With him we are sending22the brother who is famous among 23all the churches for his preaching of the gospel.
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And not only that, but he has been 24appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of 25grace that is being ministered by us, 26for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will.
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We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us,
for 27we aim at what is honorable 28not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man.
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And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you.
As for Titus, he is 29my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
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So give proof before the churches of your love and of 30our boasting about you to these men.
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